Preparing for a Netbook Respin

In preparation for a Fedora Netbook Respin every package that isn’t essential has to be removed. This Respin should work on Asus eee (4GB version) with 7″ screen, maybe even on 2GB version if possible (this is especially hard to do).
Initial inspection found some packages that take a lot of space and aren’t suited for Netbook Respin:

If you think that some of those packages should stay on Fedora Netbook Remix please explain why.
Most likely this Respin wound’t be based on GNOME because it takes too much disk space for Asus eee Netbooks ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Is there a was to slim GNOME down? Looks like most of the components are “glued” together, and removing one component takes whole GNOME desktop down (like libgweather or evolution).
Any suggestions are welcome.

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31 Responses to Preparing for a Netbook Respin

  1. Gerard Braad says:

    Dropping ibus-pinyin would mean you have incomplete Chinese Support.

    • valent says:

      A thought decision to make. If it was my personal respin I would remote it, but trying to make a general respin this makes a tough choice…

  2. Zoltanh721 says:

    From my side, I have an such device: Asus eeepc 701, 4 Gb SSD. Currently (not fully, but) perfectly runs with the LXDE respin version, but a bit interesting way. I have run also into this problem, and I have several suggestions if you want to ensure the same user experience. I have made some experiment on my eeepc.

    First, Gnome couldn’t be the target on such a small device, because totally eats the whole disk space including with the upcoming updates with the default install. LXDE, and others could be annoying for novice users, because of eg. no automount – else just maybe some cursed tons of function replacing accessories (if it will be packaged: like pydsm).
    Also I could tell that also:
    1. You must setup partitioning anaconda manually, because doesn’t care the automatic process that only 4 Gbyte is present
    2. Any journaling filesystems above ext2 makes at boot IO pagetable errors, but this is could be some special bug, because jumps over on it and goes to slim, to login.

    I think much nicer to have an fast moblin UI, and this way we could improve a lot of things. For further modification, I say that we must choose such applications – where is mostly the code is c, python, maybe perl based with gtk UI. Why? Because with this process we could cut under the rpm depemdencies, because of Fedora is really fat lady. Fur further reduction I think we must choose unique apps witch solves more user needs.
    I have for this purpose an package suggestion list, so if you need a hand for this – count me in.

    • valent says:

      I have just tested Moblin on Asus eee 4G and Moblin UI isn’t tested and doesn’t fit on Asus eee 4G netbook! ;(

      • Zoltanh721 says:

        Hell. Then it stays with some LXDE? Or maybe just with heavily customized openbox+????… I don’t know…

  3. Pingback: Rilasciata Fedora 13 Alpha | Giovanni Raco

  4. Emanuel Machado da Silva says:

    And even though I don’t think you should use GNOME in a Netbook, you CAN remove evolution: You just have to keep the evolution-data-server package.

  5. So, I’ve already done a personal kickstart for my netbooks. One of the things I found on the 4G is that switching to btrfs with compression not only provides you the equivalent of 8G, but it also significantly speeds up disk access (by a factor of 16x in some cases [particularly with highly compressible writes]). The bad news is that you have to run LVM in order to specify the mount options at install time (ie. ssd,compress). The good news is that if this is fixed, the removal of LVM will also likely provide a further speed increase.

    Here is my ugly hack to enable mount options:
    part /boot –size=128 –onpart=sda1 –fstype=ext3
    part pv.01 –size=128 –onpart=sda2 –grow
    volgroup VolGroup pv.01
    logvol / –size=128 –vgname=VolGroup –fstype=btrfs –grow –name=root –fsoptions=ssd,compress

    I’d be glad to help on the netbook remix if you would like some. Just shoot me an email.

  6. jdieter says:

    FWIW, btrfs w/ compression made my old EeePC 701 usable (at least in the sense of being able to install the stock GNOME stack on it).

  7. Jaroslav Reznik says:

    We (some people from KDE SIG) would like to prepare KDE Netbook spin based on Plasma Netbook (still under heavy development). Would be nice to share basic clean system and ship Moblin (in the future MeeGo) or Plasma Netbook on top of this core.

    We have to solve same question – KDE is quite big and we would probably need some packages splits. But still EEE 701 should be target (as I’m a proud owner ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. FYI, compcache/ramzswap is now in staging. If Fedora would build it in the default config, then the netbook remix could use it to increase the usable memory in netbooks.

  9. ibus-anthy

    this is CJK language stuff: without it, Chinese and Japanese users won’t be very happy.


    Ekiga’s a video/voice SIP client, opal is a supporting library for it. I agree you don’t really need to include this by default.


    These are included for accessibility reasons. orca is a screen reader (for the visually impaired). gnome-speech and festival do text-to-speech. gok is an on-screen keyboard. All of these have accessibility purposes.

  10. Ryan Rix says:

    My two cents: Don’t drop ekiga! Most users of a netbook spin (“regular” users) will want a VoIP software of some kind, capable of handling Voice _and_ video. Without ekiga on such systems by default, they are apt to turn to proprietary software such as Skype. Please keep ekiga on such a remix.

    • valent says:

      I don’t know any single linux user who uses ekiga ๐Ÿ˜ฆ At least in Croatia, I know people from all Croatian LUGs and none of them is using Ekiga ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Ryan where from are you? What VoIP apps do users from your local LUG use?

      I have Ekiga installed and setup, but I use Skype 100% of the time. Why? Because all people I talk to use Skype and not Ekiga ;( Sad but true.

      • Thub says:

        Maybe the question here should be, “should the netbook spin have VoIP, ‘out of the box’?”

        Obviously, it won’t include the proprietary Skype, but as far as I know, Ekiga is the best option for VoIP under GTK. If the answer to the above question is yes, then perhaps there is another, more svelte SIP client in Fedora that could be included.

        I haven’t personally tried that many, but I haven’t had much luck with the SIP Telepathy plugins (Empathy). As a SIP user (one of my clients has given me an extension on their Asterisk server, which is connected to POTS landlines, that I find infinitely useful) I would like to see a SIP client included in this spin, if it’s feasible.

        Oooh! Also, since Fedora runs an Asterisk server, community collaboration sounds like another good excuse to recommend keeping Ekiga. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Ryan Rix says:

        It’s sad, but it’s not something we should facilitate. By shipping ekiga, users are more likely to use it and not proprietary software like Skype. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        Most people in my local LUG do use SIP; a few use Skype, but that is mostly to just communicate with family members, we try to keep to SIP.

      • Ryan Rix says:

        I guess what I am trying to get at the most is that a user _will_ install VoIP software on their machine, because it’s something that they will use. So keeping a Free software application on it increases the likelihood they will use it, instead of going through the trouble of installing skype.

      • valent says:

        Even if they try using Ekiga how will they speak with their friends who are on OSX and WIndows using Skype?

      • Thub says:

        They won’t without installing Skype themselves, which would be the case with any of the Fedora spins.
        Unless you’re proposing that proprietary software be included in the spin, I don’t see how this is relevant.

      • Dave says:

        Thank You for 12.3, great distro. Currently, dual boot w/ Ubuntu netbook 10.04 LTS on an HP110NR netbook. LXDE Mint, and Fluxbox Mint are othr favorites. Running on Acer Timeline laptop 64 bit. Dual boot F-13,Vista and various linux; currently Stardust 013- Puppy. Moblin has never worked on intel chip based netbooks. I believe proprietary drivers inclusion a must. Add in personal mail, and socializing, from someones reppository (They all should have dependency programs, would be a big plus for Linux). Go office, (a short version) could be added in later with larger apps. I haven’t used for a while , but was quite impressed with Xpud as a quick netbook base, operating system for older memory lagged computers, as well as netbooks. Also, Hard to beat Puppy versions- bang for the size. With cheap memory chips, software could be added seperately by usb. Trying new Ubuntu netbook remix, for screen size and apps.Runs well, A little more social, for my taste, but could tailor to fit, if Ubuntu isn’t into locking you into their specific way of doing things. Had a Problem, test updating F13 will probably try beta, later. Much positive with 12.3; will be a staple on at least one of my machines. Thanks again. Inv. Man

      • I agree that ekiga should be shipped. If only empathy had dial-pad support…

  11. threethirty says:

    I think you should leave orca and other accessability tools in becuase disabled people use netbooks too.

    • valent says:

      I thought that because of dimensions netbooks aren’t suited for disabled people.

      • Zoltanh721 says:

        I think valent has right. The small size factor and the rearranged reduced size keyboard doesn’t fit truly. But this is not an vital problem. But I think we must drop ekiga, because mutch better we have. Empathy. Empathy with an gmail box could handle VOIP perfectly. If sometime later Emapthy will support bitlbee, then will be possible to drop at the end Skype. But ’til that time, I say Empathy is the solution. Btw, are you guys sure that we must keep gnome as default?

      • threethirty says:

        “I donโ€™t know any single linux user who uses ekiga :(”

        I use ekiga on a daily basis so there is one

        “I thought that because of dimensions netbooks arenโ€™t suited for disabled people”

        If you are totally blind the small screen doesnt matter at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. jscuster says:

    If you want to save space, replace festival with flite. It’s much smaller and still lets us blind users have accessibility. Another alternative is espeak. Please don’t make it impossible for me to use this spin on my netbook, There are quite a few blind people who, like me, would rather spend $200/300 for a netbook than $4000/5000 for an “accessible pda”. Thank you in advance.

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